As Kermit the Frog so eloquently put it in his song, it’s not easy being green. Of course, who can argue with the concept of green?Who doesn’t want to save the planet? The problem is that when it comes to green technology, too often the concept and desire of being green gets way ahead of the reality of the impact of green. Maybe I’m just getting cranky, or maybe I’m just not a very PC person, but I do tend to rely on data instead of desire.
Take for example windfarms, one of the darlings of sustainable and “free” energy. In a wicked twist of fate it turns out windfarms actually heat up the surrounding area to the extent it was detected by our earth observing satellites over an extended period of time.
This came as no surprise to California fruit growers who have not only known about this effect but used it for years during frost episodes by using huge fans to heat up groves and prevent crop damage. This does beg the question, did any of the people pushing out the huge windfarms do any research of undesirable effects first… or is this asking too much? Besides, what’s not to love about free wind energy? But as always with the green community, let’s not let data and facts get in the way of saving the planet… even when you’re exacerbating the problem you are allegedly solving.
Besides, isn’t this technology blessed by the god of the Internet AND conservation… former Senator, former VP and Nobel Laureate – Al Gore? Mister self-sacrifice himself, all for the betterment of the planet. Of course let’s not focus on those nasty little facts about his private jet and living in a mansion that uses 20 times the energy as an average American home. I’m sure with his millions he can buy his way into being “carbon neutral”. And It would be truly inconvenient for someone of his statue to actually have to live the way he proposes we all live.
But Mr. Gore still has plenty of followers in D.C. The federal government is pushing hard for us all to own electric cars. If you’re not buying one, your taxes are going to subsidize those who are. It’s only a matter of time before the Feds exercise the new powers gained via ObamaCare, i.e., the power to force us to purchase something in the private market space (health insurance in this case, because in their opinion it is a national imperative we have coverage). So how long before it is a national imperative to reduce the amount of auto emissions and we all have to buy an electric car?
What’s not to love about electric cars? Zero emissions! They’re quiet! However, there is this one little problem about their range. The average electric car can only go from 60 to 120 miles before requiring a charge. For people in large metro areas with long commutes that could be a problem. Of course the answer to that would be the government requiring all employers with more than 50 employees to provide those employees with charging stations. Sound silly? I wouldn’t bet against it.
Currently there is quite the war of words going on between the NY Times and Tesla Motors, maker of all the new cool electric cars. It seems an editor of the NY Times took a roadtrip in a new Tesla and was rude enough to report on the shortcomings of trying to drive on extended trips in an electric vehicle. Obviously as part of the media he should known better. So the missiles are flying and my guess is it will end up with either an apology by the Times or the editor losing his job, or both. Darn those nasty little facts.